The Rangers have shut Jurickson Profar down for the winter

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We noted yesterday that Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar — perhaps baseball’s top prospect — has struggled mightily for Tigres del Licey in the winter leagues. The reason? Forearm inflammation, reports Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas. And  the Rangers aren’t messing around with him:

Texas Rangers infield prospect Jurickson Profar has mild inflammation in his right forearm and will not play any more games in the Dominican League this winter. An MRI showed the mild inflammation, but the club wanted to shut Profar down as a precaution. The 19-year-old will come to Texas this week to be evaluated by team physician Dr. Keith Meister.

Profar had been benched by the Tigers — they try to win down in winter ball — and given that he’s only 19 and just came off his longest season in his life, the rest is certainly what’s best for him.

Report: Red Sox, J.D. Martinez close to a deal

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.

Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.

The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.

The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.